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Gallery + Classroom Program: Curator for a Day

Dates Available: All school year

Grade Level: 6th–12th

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 70 students

Galleries Visited:   Seeking St. Louis: Currents & Seeking St. Louis: Reflections

Program Duration: 2 hours

Students will engage with objects and displays through the eyes of museum staff, learning about the roles of each of these professionals and practicing the skill sets integral to making a museum work. They'll even get to create their own exhibition with objects in our teaching collection.

More About This Gallery + Classroom Program
Do you want a field-trip experience that emphasizes career readiness and professional skills? Are you looking for a truly interdisciplinary program that combines history, art, English language arts, and science? Are your students curious about the inner workings of a museum? Sign up for our Curator for a Day Gallery + Classroom program for a unique look at the Missouri History Museum.

In the Galleries
Students will visit three areas of our galleries. At each stop, they'll engage with objects and displays through the eyes of museum staff: a curator, a conservator, and an exhibition designer.

  • At Stop 1 students will read, deconstruct, and critique the stories museum curators tell about artifacts and history by analyzing labels and considering multiple perspectives.
  • At Stop 2 students will learn about artifact conservation. Like a conservator, they'll use careful scientific observation to record the physical condition of artifacts they see in the gallery, make a hypothesis about the causes of any damage, and recommend safe solutions for the future display and care of the artifacts. 
  • At Stop 3 students will discover the work of an exhibition designer. They'll discuss how exhibitors make choices regarding gallery design and layout that affects visitors' experiences.

Please note that the above stops may not occur in chronological order. Also, portions of each stop may be cut out if your group arrives late.

In the Classroom
Students will work in teams and use touchable objects to create their own thematic exhibition. They'll define and develop their exhibition theme, choose objects to include in their exhibition, design a space in which to display their exhibition, and create an event that would entice an audience to come visit their exhibition.

 Please read our K-12 Policiesbefore booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

What Are Teachers Saying About This Program?
"This program helped my students develop skills they can use in their geography, language arts, and history classes!"

"I love the creativity and participation required for the Curator for a Day Tour."

"The program was very hands-on and kept my students engaged the whole time."

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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